Short Track Roundup (11/19/97)
19 November 1997
Mobile, AL - It's time for our weekly look back at the racing action around the short tracks for the past week. Weather forced the postponement of the Delaware International race once again, they will try to get the event run this weekend. Phillip Wilson, Owner/Manager of Montgomery Speedway USA has tried three times to run the Alabama 200, and after calling the race off again this past weekend due to extremely cold weather, he told me he will try again in the spring. Look for a date around the middle of February as the likely time. The STARS finale at Cherokee Speedway was put off until this weekend by the heavy rains of last week, but the series season-ender should go off on schedule if forecasts for the Gaffnee, SC area hold true.
There was some racing this week, in Woodstock, GA at Dixie Speedway they ran a $10,000 - to - win Late Model race and Donnie Moran took home the big bucks. Dale McDowell finished in second spot and Freddy Smith came home third. It is reported that Rick Aukland was driving car #111 but no more information has been forthcoming. Mark Miner and Billy Moyer rounded out the top five.
A strange result came out of Hialeah, FL where they held the 28th Marion Edwards Memorial 100. Seems they had two winners and only one race. Danny Maddox and Joe Winchell were racing for the win with four laps left when they got together. Both got very sideways but were able to save the cars. The flagman threw the yellow and they put Maddox to the rear. Winchell went on and won the race with Maddox finishing tenth. There was then a protest from Maddox and officials decided that there would be dual winners. The two drivers pooled first and tenth place money and then split the pot. So, the result is Danny Maddox and Joe Winchell the winners with Glen Whitney second and Mike Franklin Jr third. *** The Prostar 200 was run at Mobile International Speedway despite the cold (45 degrees) weather. Tommy "Texas Tornado" Grimes came up with his first win outside of Texas and took home the $7,000 check. Tim Baker and Ted Ramsey were the next two across the line when the race was shortened by a heavy rain shower after 135 laps were completed. Both drivers were already a lap down as Grimes was the only car on the lead lap.
It is only two more weeks until the start of the annual season ending bash at Five Flags Speedway in Pensacola, FL; the Snowball Derby. The 30th annual running of the biggest short track race of the year will see the venerable Red Farmer compete in his 30th and perhaps last Snowball. The ageless Farmer is still competing on both dirt and asphalt and refuses to state when he might quit driving a race car. Farmer was the polesitter for the inaugural Snowball way back in 1968 and has been making the trek to Pensacola every year since. Last year proved to be a tough one as he wrecked his Ford in practice and had to borrow a car from Andy Antinoro to compete in the race where he was once again involved in an accident and retired early.
The ASA announced their All Star Pit Crew this week consisting of Crew Chief Howie Lettow, Front Tire Changer Mike Chaffee, Rear Tire Changer Gary Donegon, Jack Man Craig Smokstad, Gas Man Ron Tretow, and Tire Specialist Greg 'Truck' Lang. Lettow and Donegon are from Scott Carlson's Baker Motorsports team, Tretow and Smokstad from Scott Hansen's Schrader Racing Team, Lang from Gary St Amant's Automotive Promotions Team, and Chaffee from the Lafavre Racing Team of 1997 ASA Champion Kevin Cywinski, which was named the best overall crew.
USAR announced that for 1998 the Hooters ProCup Series will have 20 races, four of which will be at their own track in Lakeland, FL. No other dates were announced, however expect at least four races at Peach State Speedway in Jefferson, GA as they own a large chunk of that property and possibly some races at Hickory Speedway where they also are involved in the ownership. They did state that all races will be televised and that each race will have a minimum purse of $40,000. The point fund for 1998 is announced at $500,000 which includes the Driver's Championship, Car Owners and Winner's Circle money. Now if they could just get the cars to go faster! Rick Day will take over the Sportsman and Modified series and expects to announce both sponsorship and schedule information shortly. The finale for the Modifieds and the Sportsman cars will be December 6th at USA International in Lakeland, FL.
The American Late Model Series announced its champion, Kris Patterson, this past week. For Patterson this is his second championship in the three years of existence of the series. Patterson won six races at three tracks enroute to the title and became the first ALMS driver to amass 10 wins, which earned him a $1,000 bonus.
That about wraps up the news for this week around the short tracks, but the coming weeks promise plenty of fender banging action on those tracks still in action. Catch a race soon before winter sets in your part of the country. Have a Ball, Ya'll!
John Kaiser -- The Auto Channel